Wearable Tech World Feature Article
February 20, 2014

Broadcom's New SoC Improves Wearable Device Location Capabilities

No one can dispute that Broadcom has made a name for itself for its telecommunications processors and SoC (system on a chip) offerings, but so far most of its focus has been on M2M and mobile offerings. In fact, it has excelled in these areas and was even among the first to roll out 5G Wi-Fi SoCs for mobile devices.

With wearable technology set to be the next big trend among consumers, though, the company risks falling behind if it ignores the space. Fortunately, Broadcom has done anything but ignore wearable tech and it recently reminded the world about this with the unveiling of the world’s first Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) SoC designed for low-power, mass-market wearable devices.

Thanks to an on-chip sensor hub, this new SoC, dubbed the BCM4771, can better help users track and manager their health by providing more accurate tracking and location data. More impressively, the solution is able to constantly monitor user activity levels and location history without consuming as much power as traditional architectures.

"Today's wearables like fitness trackers have surged in popularity, but often miscalculate speed and distance," said Mohamed Awad, director of Broadcom’s Marketing, Mobile and Wireless Group. "As the largest supplier of discrete GNSS solutions, Broadcom brings its location expertise to deliver more precise fitness and health measurements to the accelerating wearable market."

The BCM4771 SoC isn’t Broadcom’s first foray into the world of wearable devices. Late last year, the company introduced a new WICED smart chip that enables new use cases for wearable devices thanks to its low power consumption.

As for Broadcom’s latest wearable device offering, the SoC is built on a 40nm process technology and is capable of running on-chip algorithms to detect the user’s context, compute speed and distance traveled, while providing fitness applications with GNSS tracking. The result is a more reliable wearable tech experience that is also cheaper than existing comparable technology.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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